Frugal Three in One Apple Jelly, Pectin and Puree


The humble apple is the jam makers friend indeed. The fruit is high in pectin so when added (either as juice or puree) to other fruits, it helps the jam set. Or make a juice from the cooked fruit to make jewel like jellies.  Here is my recipe for making jellies, the juice that I use as a “natural pectin” and a puree that I add to jams and chutneys.

The very best apples to use are the sour green early season apples which are sold cheap here in Romania. they are super high in pectin. I buy lots and freeze the resulting juice and puree to be used later. But all apples are high in pectin and I generally just buy local ones or make use of gifts of apples people cannot use. This recipe is for the very sour small green apples:


Young small under ripe apples 3kg

For every kilo of apples, 1 litre of water (900ml water if regular apples)

How To

Quarter the apples and put in the pan, pips, cores, peel and all


Add the water. Dunk the apple pieces so they are covered. Sometimes I put an old plate on top to keep them submerged.

Boil until the fruit is cooked – 30-40 minutes.

Pass carefully through a jelly bag or a sieve lined with a tea towel.  (the big ones that IKEA sell work particularly well over a washing up plastic bowl). Never ever ever squish your boiled fruit through the tea towel/ jelly bag unless you want cloudy jelly. Do not be tempted!


Reboil the residue with 1/3 the quantity of water

Repeat the process  (I said that this was frugal!) This juice is your own natural pectin. Boiled with sugar it gels. Added to other lower pectin fruits it helps your jam set.

Pass the second residue through a mouli and keep the apple puree for chutney or adding to recipes like Blackberry & Apple jam.



Now make the jelly which can be just pure gleaming apple jelly or can be embellished with vanilla, cinnamon or fresh mint for mint jelly.  ive also made lemon verbena jelly with lemon verbena leaves, sage jelly and basil jelly over the years. What fascinates me is how different apples give a different colour of jelly – sometimes pale and golden and sometimes pinky tinged like crab apple jelly.

To the juice that you have now, you need to add sugar in this proportion:

75% sugar to juice, so if you have 1litre ie 1000ml of juice you need 750 g of sugar.  So basically whatever quantity of juice you have, just multiply by 75% and thats your sugar quantity – easy peasy.

Warm up slowly until the sugar is dissolved.

Then whack up the temperature to a rolling boil until the setting point has been reached. see JAM MAKING RULES

Pot while hot into hot sterilised jars

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